National Apprenticeship Week 2023: The value of apprenticeships

It’s National Apprenticeship Week and we’re highlighting the value and positive impact our apprentices have on their projects, as well as the ‘skills for life’ they have developed in their programme.

Ashleigh Strauther is one of our brilliant Technicians who recently completed a Civil Engineering Technician Level 3 Apprenticeship. In the following Q&A, Ashleigh discusses the impact her apprenticeship has had on her development, as well as the community through her work.

Project I’ve been involved in: Student Accommodation at 57 Rutland Street, Leicester
Construction cost: £32m

What skills have you developed from working on the project?

“I have developed skills relating to surveying existing concrete structures and managing large amounts of detailed information. I have learned about concrete remedial works, previous methods of construction and retrofitting existing structures. Working on such a complex structure has improved my ability to communicate clearly when discussing project specific works. It has also allowed me to progress in visualising 3D structures mentally, when coordinating works and evaluating the effects of works in one area on others.”

What impact do you think your work is having on the community?

“Once completed, the building will provide accommodation for students of Leicester University. This will encourage economic growth in Leicester for small local businesses and the city itself. By attracting more people, the opportunity for development of the area may also arise to facilitate the increased footfall and demand for facilities. This isn’t the only impact that the refurbishment of the building will have. It has been derelict for over 15 years, so by repurposing the structure the eyesore will be removed.”

How is your apprenticeship helping you achieve your career aspirations?

“During my apprenticeship I was exposed to different areas of the industry, varying frameworks and standards, and coordinated with teams near and far. As a technician, I was able to build a good foundation of skills and knowledge, both interpersonal and working with software. In the short term, my apprenticeship allowed me to develop thoroughly as a technician.

Long term, completing my apprenticeship has shown me the depth of our industry and just how much opportunity there is to specialise in up-and-coming fields of work. My apprenticeship allowed me to gain a greater understanding of my individual opportunities for development and further education, while I learned wheat areas appealed to me.”